After a year's absence, The Blue Angels return to the skies of Northeast Florida this weekend for the NAS Jax Air Show.
The blue FA-18 fighter jets that make up the Navy's Flight Demonstration Team are the grand finale to a day's worth of aerial performances on Saturday and Sunday.
They are scheduled to take off at 3 p.m. each day.
The gates open at 9 a.m. both days at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station, 6801 Roosevelt Blvd., and the air show begins at10 a.m.
In addition to the aerobatics of St. Augustine's Patty Wagstaff in an Extra 300S monoplane, the schedule includes Matt Chapman in an Eagle 580 and Melissa Pemberton in an Edge 540. Military aircraft scheduled to perform include an F4U Corsair, an F-22 Raptor and a P-3 Orion. A Legacy Flight, celebrating the heritage of the U.S. Navy, is also part of the lineup. Watch for a School Time Jet Powered Bus and a "Port-o-Jet" Jet Outhouse as well.
There will be food vendors and a kid's zone for games and activities.
Admission and parking are free. You're encouraged to arrive by 12:30 p.m. if you want to see The Blue Angels. The event typically draws crowds of more than 200,000, and traffic gets backed up on Roosevelt Boulevard and surrounding areas.
Vehicles will be inspected upon entry to the Naval Air Station. Vehicles planning to drop people off and depart should do so at the Ajax and Albermale gate, Building 135 parking area. Everyone entering the Air Show must pass through walk-through metal detectors and scanner checkpoints at the pedestrian gate. Portable and lawn chairs are allowed in, but such items as coolers, grills and backpacks are not.
For a complete list of permitted and prohibited items, go to nasjaxairshow.com.
The Blue Angels were formed at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station in 1946 and were based here until being relocated to their current home in Pensacola in the 1950s. They have performed in Jacksonville for years, alternating betweenJacksonville Naval Air Station and Jacksonville Beach.
In April of last year, the Navy announced that the aerial demonstration group would have their remaining 2013 schedule scrapped because of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. The move forced the cancellation of the show scheduled for last October, and cast some doubt on whether there would be one this year. But that was cleared up later when the Navy announced the Angels' return to a full schedule.